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Yorktown Protestors Call for Bank Reform

YORKTOWN, N.Y. — A dozen protesters stood with picket signs and a petition Thursday afternoon outside the Bank of America in Yorktown.

The protest, which was part of a larger, national movement to send a message to the president, was organized through MoveOn.Org.

“We are collecting signatures to send to President Obama, to encourage him to keep investigating the fraud that caused the housing crisis,” said Michelle LeBlanc, who was standing outside Panera asking for signatures.

Tim Barnes , the MoveOn.org council coordinator for Northern Westchester and Putnam, said the location of the protest spoke to the cause. The Lake Peekskill resident said, in addition to standing outside a bank, many other protestors were outside Obama’s campaign offices to get their message heard.

“We want to make sure that he sees us out and visible and that we expect him to be representing the 99 percent, not the 1 percent, especially when it comes to all the things from the financial crisis—what the banks did, what Wall Street did,” Barnes said. “We don’t want them settling with them for some little slap on the wrist fine or something, people broke the law and need to go to jail.”

Barnes said the events were held Thursday so the message could be clear in time for the State of the Union on Tuesday.

Duna Fullteron of Ossining said she went to the protest because she believed the president had not done anything to hold the banks accountable and said they needed to be since they were mainly responsible for the financial crisis the country has experienced.

“The banks are the ones who caused, to a large extent, the downturn in the economy and it was their aggressive practices that drew customers in and then customers weren’t able to pay off their mortgages,” she said. “I just think they’re not being fair to their customers, and they’re not being held accountable. They’re not being prosecuted for the things that they obviously and legally did wrong.”

Fullerton’s sign read “Bring back the middle class” — a message she wanted the president to receive and call for reforms.

“The disparity in wealth between the very wealthy and the poor is growing and growing and it’s very difficult now for people who are poor to get the education to bring them out of the basement,” she said.

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